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Alexander Of Macedon, A Historical Biography

1153 words - 5 pages

Green, P. (1991). Alexander of Macedon, 356-323 B.C.: a historical biography. Berkeley: University of California Press. (Original work published 1974)
Peter Green’s, Alexander of Macedon, takes us on a journey to Ancient Macedonia, to the early beginnings of Alexander’s life right up to his controversial death. This material is a revision and expansion from Green’s book, “Alexander the Great” originally published in 1970. In this detailed narrative of Alexander the Great, Green helps the reader to better understand Alexander’s life and the world he grew up in. Green begins this historical biography with Alexander’s father, Philip II of Macedon, and how he came into power.
Green, a ...view middle of the document...

It wasn’t till after the assassination of Philip II that we are able to see just how much Alexander had learned from his father.
The author developed the thesis convincingly. For example, in chapter 4, the author explains how soon after Philips death, Alexander wasted no time in assuming the throne. Alexander similar to Philip, who earlier had his half- brothers killed although two of them managed to escape, also went on to kill those who posed a threat to the throne. He killed two of Alexander of Lyncestian’s brothers and later on he ordered his mother to get rid of Amyntas, son of Perdiccas, and Cleopatra’s (his father’s wife, not to be confused with Cleopatra VII Philopator) baby son Caranus. Alexander’s obsession with personal glory and power was understandable; He grew up with a father whose main goal was to capture Persia, and nothing would stand in his way. Chapter 10 describes Alexander as a man bred as a king and a warrior. His father provided him with the best teachers growing up. One of them was Aristotle, who helped Alexander develop an analytical mind which later helped him with the strategies he used to conquer cities such as Ephesus, Thebes and Jhelum; which was one of Alexander’s greatest battle strategies. The author paints Alexander’s ambition and eventual megalomania as being in part due to his mother’s claims that he had been begotten by the god Zeus and his constant success in his battles. Also, oracles would also tell him he was a god which in turn increased his megalomania. Treachery and conspiracies for Alexander began at the age of 18, Philip began to question the legitimacy of Alexander and went as far as to take another wife, Cleopatra the niece of Attalus, one of Philips generals, and name Caranus the son she begot him, the heir to the throne. There were many plots against Alexander’s life over the years and he was able to overcome many of them, except for the last one which caused him his life.
The author, a classically trained scholar from Cambridge University, has the right qualifications to write on the subject matter. Throughout the book he states his opinions and beliefs but tries to maintain an unbiased view. He refers to various historians such as Diodorus, Justin and Plutarch throughout his narrative. Although, he does disagree with most of their interpretations on Alexander, he is not...

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